For those at risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study finds that cutting your sitting time every day by 90 minutes could change your health more than taking on a vigorous workout program.
Currently, patients at risk for type 2 diabetes are advised to engage in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week. But new research finds that the best advice may be to reduce sedentary time -- time spent sitting at a desk, lying down, or watching television -- by 90 minutes a day.
In the study from the University of Leicester, lead researcher Joseph Henson and colleagues analyzed patients from two studies: 153 from project STAND (Sedentary Time and Diabetes study), where subjects were an average age of 33, and the Walking Away from Diabetes study, where subjects were an average age of 64.
In each study, the team examined time spent sitting or sedentary, as well as time spent engaging in moderate-to-vigorous exercise, against risk factors for diabetes.
The researchers found that time spent sitting was significantly associated with higher blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reports HealthDay, as well as other heart and diabetes risk factors. This held true even after compensating for the amount of time spent exercising.
While the study doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between sitting and diabetes, Henson says it does raise questions about protocols for reversing risks.
Research appears in the journal Diabetologia.